September 2001

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30
Sep

Warning. About three or four paragraphs into this entry, I give up trying to be coherent, and get somewhat stream-of-consciousness. :)

(update)
*Candi* You're right.. you completely lost coherency
*Candi* but you did it long before the 3rd or 4th paragraph :)
*Carlton* After that movie, my brain turned to mush and dribbled out my ear :)
*Candi* apparently it dribbled onto your kb :)
(oh, shush)

I just watched Starship Troopers for the second time. The first time I saw this I watched it on video, there were certain reasons my perception of the movie was skewed, leaving me predisposed to really dislike certain characters just because they had the temerity to remind me of what was going on in my life at the time. But now after a few years of time passing, I've been able to watch it again without those preoccupations getting in the way. On second watching, I must say I wasn't nearly as put off by those things that made md dislike the movie originally. So here's my review, unbiased by my own emotional torments.

Boy did this movie suck.

It sucked badly.

On the suck-o-meter, it rates slightly more suckage than "bowling balls through a garden hose".

I've never spent an action movie wishing that all of the lead characters would just die. Not one of them had a single redeeming feature. I wanted to see each of them eviscerated by a CGI monster. This is a movie where the computer-generated aliens were better actors than the humans. If this is the future of the Earth, then for God's sake just let the bugs kill us all.

What really annoyed me, though, was the way that the scriptwriters had made absolutely no attempt to make the plot even vaguely believable. I know action movies require suspension of disbelief. But it's impossible to suspend disbelief in the face of a script that was obviously written by those typewriting monkeys who didn't get lucky enough to write Hamlet.

I'm told the movie is supposed to be a satire. Of what, perchance? Isn't satire supposed to make us think of something real? Sure, it has a few totally unsublte broadsides against wartime propaganda, and the difference between what is advertised, and what it's really like. That takes up all of ten minutes, and it's not exactly breaking new ground, is it?

Back to the plot. Here's an army attacking a planet. They land hundreds of thousands of soldiers in the middle of nowhere, without even bombing the place first, without knocking out any of the ground-to-air defenses. They just turn up and land. There's no supporting equipment, no air support, armoured divisions, artillery, just a bunch of guys with guns. All the soldiers run in random directions, because that seems to be their orders. "Run in random directions and shoot stuff." Hello, I love a good chaotic "WE'RE ALL GOING TO DIE!" crowd scene as much as anyone, but credit the audience with some believable context?

They're fighting these giant bugs. All the humans are carrying neat little machine guns. It takes about five people ten seconds to kill one bug, except when the script calls for one person doing it quickly, or three people holding off a whole room of the things in the time it took to kill one of them earlier. I was reminded of Split Second. There's this bit halfway through where the straight-laced cop goes completely mad (or at least as mad as Rutger Hauer's character already is) and walks through the armoury saying "We need bigger guns! We need BIG FUCKING GUNS!" I love that movie. :)

Anyway, back to Starship Troopers again. They're attacking another planet. They know they're expected. Last time they did this, all the ships waiting in orbit got blown up. So what do they do? They leave all their ships waiting in orbit again to be blown up. Believe it or not, they're all blown up. Once again, no support, no artillery, just guys with little guns that take ten minutes (give or take a plot device) to kill one bad guy.

Oh, then whats-her-name has this huge spike through her shoulder and is dragged around by it for five minutes. Then she gets up and runs all over the place shooting things.

As for Paul Verhoeven, I thought Robocop and Total Recall were great, but from then on... Basic Instinct sucked. I've never seen Showgirls, but I'm told it sucked. Starship Troopers sucked bowling balls through a straw. Hollow Man was a crappy horror movie wrapped in fundamentally disturbing rape fantasies. Somebody make sure this guy doesn't make any more movies, please?

On a whim today, I bought Salman Rushdie's new book, Fury. I really should read real books more often, I grew up reading Science Fiction / Fantasy, and never really grew out of it. Anyway, I had to share this paragraph, for everyone who knows far too many people only through electrons.

What is the digital equivalent of lovely? he wondered. What are the digits that encode beauty, the number-figures that enclose, transform, transmit, decode and somehow, in the process, fail to trap or choke the soul of it? Not because of the technology but in spite of it, beauty, that ghost, that treasure, passes undiminished through the new machines.

It probably won't come as much of a surprise to anyone that I've resigned my SorceryNet O:line. Actually, I did it first, I just was too lazy to announce it. So there. The network isn't the place I volunteered for years ago, and I expend too much effort trying to bend it back into the shape it once was, when it obviously is quiet happy (or from my point of view, complacent and navel-gazing) the way it is.

It worries me that I just told somebody how much easier it is to clean your carpet with Photoshop's blur tool than it is to have it steam-cleaned.

Grrrr...

  • 9:39 AM
satori:/var/log/apache# egrep '(scripts|cmd.exe|root.exe)' access.log | wc -l
  10195

That's just over a thousand hits per hour from the latest Windows NT / IIS worm. Bloody incompetent NT admins. Grrr.

Groupies

  • 6:54 PM

From the XP Mailing List:

Ya know, that's what this business needs. Groupies. Forget higher salaries, or better perks, or more vacation time. Screw stock options, they're worthless anyway. Just once, I'd like to have three or four beautiful women bat their eyelashes at me and act fascinated when I talk about the cool new hack I invented. I don't need sex, I don't need personal service...I just want them to smile a lot, go "Oooh!" and actively participate in the conversation. -- Dave Storrs

If it wasn't so long, it'd make a great sig quote.

As further proof that this isn't really a journal, this is the only mention you're going to see of my burglary:

[Charles] I'm still reeling over the loss of season 1 of Buffy.
[Candi] *gasp* they took Buffy?
[Charles] They took Buffy! And Crouching Tiger, Fight Club and American Beauty
* Candi thinks.. did they take those shorts, that horrid shirt and that green hat too?
[Charles] Nope :)
[Candi] I just figured.. they stole Buffy and Bjork cd's, their bad taste is obvious and those would be likely targets too.

If you weren't my best friend, you'd be in a lot of trouble now. :P

(Something that interests me... I'd love to see a histogram of the most common "Current Moods" in posts, and how bunched they'd be at the start of the alphabet)

If something's bigger than it is, then that's how big it is

-- David Pinn, on estimating software development.